What Does Snow Mean for Your Business?

Updated on: January 6th, 2017

Charlotte's discussion on What Does Snow Mean for Your Business?

The less than 1 inch of snow that was predicted for the Charlotte region this weekend has been boosted to up 7 inches. If you’re an entrepreneur—and your weeks don’t end on weekends—you’re probably wondering how this kind of weather will impact your business.

Here are a few of the basics.

What Does Snow Mean for Your Business?

For some retailers, snow is good news.

For supermarkets and retail stores selling things like boots, shovels and other winter gear, this kind of cold weather can be really good news. In fact, you’ve likely already noticed many of the grocery and hardware stores putting cold-weather supplies at the front of their stores, as frantic shoppers hurry to get what they need before the snow hits (which, FYI, is estimated to be around 8 p.m.).

But for many, snow is not a good thing.

If you don’t sell groceries, gas, or boots, weekend snow might seem like bad news. Avoiding the roads and the cold, your usual weekend visitors will be more likely to stay home this weekend, which is certainly not what most stores and restaurants want to hear.

Surely they’ll online shop, right?

If you’re an online business, snow might seem like good news. After all, if your customers are stuck at home, it seems obvious to assume that they’ll be more likely to shop online. The answer, however, is not so cut-and-dry.

In a 2015 article titled It’s Too Cold to Shop, it was revealed that a Fluent study had surveyed 2,000 Americans to reveal this: Almost 16% of respondents claimed they have shopped less in store this winter, but 27% increased their online shopping habits.

That increase in online shopping during the winter is good news for eCommerce sites. That said, with this snowstorm coming so close after the expensive holiday season, many customers are more likely to save right now than be tempted to shop.

There is a silver lining.

If you do run an online business, snow days are a great time to push special winter promotions and to remind consumers of how easy it is to shop online. And if you run a storefront business, don’t fret. As a busy entrepreneur, a slower weekend means time to focus on the parts of your business you’ve been neglecting, like marketing, social media, missed emails, etc. And the even better news? Usually, these short-lived periods of snow are followed by a rise in sales when the snow melts. This means the sales don’t disappear; they just shift.

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